Oct 9, 2012 12:00am PDT
yamanaka. >> suarez: the two scientists are from two different generations and celebrated today's announcement half a world apart. but today they were celebrated together for their research that led to a ground-breaking understanding of how cells work. sir john gurdon of cambridge university was awarded for his work in 1962. he was able to use specialized cells of frogs, like skin or intestinal cells, to generate new tad poles and show d.n.a. could drive the formation of cells in the body. 40 years later dr. shinya yamanaka built on that and went further. he was able to turn mature cells back into their earliest form as primitive cells. those cells are in many ways the equivalent of embryonic stem cells because they have the potential to develop into specialized cells. for heart, liver and other organs. dr. shinya yamanaka is currently working at kyoto university. embryonic stem cells have had to be harvested from human embryos, a source of debate and considerably controversy. for gurdon the prize at special meaning. at a news conference in london he recalled one school teacher'